PTO Performing Artists & Authors Committee Needs Your Help

If you have a child in the Weston public school system and are NOT a PTO member, then you are missing out. Not only did the printed directory come out last week with all of your favorite folks listed with all their textable phone numbers, but you and your kids are benefiting from one of the best-run student-focused organizations in town. One of my favorite benefits of membership, by the way, is the PTO Westword weekly newsletter which I busily peruse each week to see if I can steal accentuate any of the upcoming events or stories. Join the PTO here.

Of the PTO volunteer roles (membership, room parent, author program) I was once personally a part of, the Author Program, once called something else which I have temporarily blocked due to long weekend mind drain, was my favorite (wait, on edit 400, I remember! Wordfest!). Choosing and working with authors who came to talk with and work with the students was about as fun as it gets for this wanna-be writer. My favorite of all of them? Giles Laroche who talked with second graders about where we live and the importance of place.

Giles Laroche–cut paper stories of place

Other members of the Creative Arts committee (now Performing Arts and Authors Committee or PAAC), work with performing arts groups, comedy improv and movement, all of these “extras” enhancing our kids’ educational experiences. The hardest part? Figuring out, with the help of administrators and teachers, which options fit in with our curriculum, and hopefully enhance it.

To be honest, some of the things I would have loved to see were things outside the curriculum. For instance, South America is barely a blip in the curriculum (if I had a dollar for every person who thinks the largest country in Latin America speaks Spanish…well, I’d be spending the weekend in Rio which is NOT the capital) but could be experienced through capoeira, its beautiful movement and music martial art. What about the sounds of Olodum and their drums? Fine, Olodum is not coming up from Bahia but I’m guessing you can find a few Brazilian percussionists around here. You can understand a lot about a culture through its performing arts.

Capoeira batizada, São Paulo, Brazil, 2011. Owlet.

In any case, my turn on Creative Arts/PAAC is done. How about you? Think music, reading, writing, creating is important for your students? Consider joining the PAAC (go ‘cats!) and making it happen. You can find out more using the QR code or by sending an email to Committee Chair Heidi Estrada at

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